SOUTH OKANAGAN HABITAT GARDEN
Okanagan College, 583 Duncan Ave. W.
Come check out the garden and enjoy the native plants that have thrive in the Okanagan
This garden gives everyone the opportunity to leave the city behind and stroll through typical diverse and unique South Okanagan habitat. It is located on the corner of Hwy. 97 and Duncan Avenue W. at Okanagan College (OC). Established in the summer of 1990 as a cooperative project between OC and SONC, it is maintained entirely by volunteers. This unusual Habitat Garden is the only place in the Okanagan where you can see the rare blue flag iris (Iris missouriensis). Learn about this and other endangered native shrubs and flowers as you enjoy the easy self-guiding tour through typical Okanagan habitat plantings. Scarlet gilia, rabbitbrush, pasture sage and bluebunch wheatgrass are some of the plants representing the dry interior of B.C. Those looking to experience an astounding variety of typical and rare local flora, along with some of the creatures that live in these habitats, will truly enjoy a visit to this landmark garden.
Glacial action and subsequent flooding created fast-draining soils suitable for present day native plants. Marsh, grasslands and riparian woodlands bordered the Okanagan River, providing a rich homeland for First Nations people. Later, the Kettle Valley Railway line ran where the garden stands. We still find railroad spikes when weeding. This Habitat Garden was conceived by ardent naturalist Ruth St. John, and it is now dedicated to her memory. Canada Trust's Friends of the Environment Foundation has assisted with funding.